With Ready Player One released just two years ago Ernest Cline created the nearly perfect nostalgia trip to gamer culture of the 70s and 80s. His next work Armada seems to fit in a similar mode though in the real instead of the virtual. Judging from the blurb I'd say this will give heavy nods to things like Flight of the Navigator and The Last Starfighter. Here's the official blurb:
Zack Lightman is daydreaming through another dull math class when the high-tech dropship lands in his school's courtyard-and when the men in the dark suits and sunglasses leap out of the ship and start calling his name, he's sure he's still dreaming.
But the dream is all too real; the people of Earth need him. As Zack soon discovers, the videogame he's been playing obsessively for years isn't just a game; it's part of a massive, top-secret government training program, designed to teach gamers the skills they'll need to defend Earth from a possible alien invasion. And now…that invasion is coming.
As he and his companions prepare to enter their ships and do battle, Zack learns that the father he thought was dead is actually a key player in this secret war. And together with his father, he'll uncover the truth about the alien threat, race to prevent a genocide, and discover a mysterious third player in the interplanetary chess game he's been thrown into.The cover goes for a early Galaga/Space Invaders vibe which should hit the right market, but this may not be final. Armada will be released in July, 2014 from Crown. I'll be there with book tokens ready to plock down.
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